E-ARC, 275 Pages
By: Rob J. Hayes
“Weapons are not dangerous,” said the goddess as she slid her Monk into place. “Nor is a man with a weapon. A person’s skill and intent are the real danger.”
Hayes is one of my most trusted self-published authors ever. Never Die is one of my favorite books and I recommended it to many of my friends who also loved it. The War Eternal Trilogy is one of my favorite trilogies ever and the first trilogy that I read as ARCs. You can tell I was super excited when I was presented with the chance to be part of the blog tour for this book. The book comes out on January 26th which also happens to be my birthday and that alone is a good reason to convince you to read the book. (Look at the gorgeous cover courtesy of Felix Ortiz -artist- & Shawn T. King –Typography and design-)
Pawn’s Gambit is part of the Mortal Techniques series which consists of bunch of standalones taking place in the same world. You don’t have to read Never Die to read this one, the only thing that will differ if you did that are some Easter eggs that Hayes put throughout the story but the two books are definitely standalones! This book revolves around Yuu who is also known as the art of war for being a renowned strategist and general in her past, one mistake cost her a lot and she’s now living with the consequences of it. On the other hand, The Gods are having their contest which is held every 100 years to determine the next ruler of the Jade Throne through people they choose to compete against each other and I think you can workout the rest from this info!
Now it is no surprise for me that I enjoyed the prose in this one because I am already a fan of Hayes writing style. I think it balances humor and fantasy and well written characters at the same time. The books are not huge and they are easy to follow which makes them a perfect place also for anyone who wants to read more adult fantasy but is intimidated by the size! There were a ton of quotes that I highlighted and I think it lived up to my expectations from that aspect!
“Mistakes are like wrinkles,” Natsuko said as she snapped together the last few pieces of the game and put them away in her pouch. “The older we get, the more we have, and we forget them until we look in a mirror.”
Now the characters were great, I think in all the books I read by the author, characterization was my favorite thing and it is the same case here. I was excited when I saw Yuu gathering a gang and I thought it will be similar to Never Die but then it took a different turn which was also enjoyable. Yuu does grow out through the story and she had her moments were she was frustrating or not as smart as you would expect from her but overall she’s still a well written character, the rest of the characters are pretty much three dimensional too.
The Plot is good and I think the fast pacing is another reason that makes it easy to read. I did felt it slowing a bit in the middle and there was some repetition (With Yuu’s rants) but then it picks up and the ending was cool and there was a small plot I did not see coming!
“The first step toward winning is knowing which game you are playing.”
Summary: Pawn’s Gambit was a very cool read which was engaging and easy to read. I think the writing was smooth and the characters were nicely written. I am just a fan of Hayes and this is another book I enjoyed by him and I will be reading his next work for sure!
Petrik’s Review at Novel Notions
Lynn’s Review at Grimmedian
Nick’s Review at Out of this world reviews